Is rape usually about power, or sex?

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by Nasor, Oct 3, 2009.

  1. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    I decided to start this thread because the moderators inexplicably locked a previous thread on the topic without explanation.

    People commonly say that rape is more about power/violence/whatever than about sex. Is there any actual evidence to support this view? In the previous thread James mentioned older and/or unattractive people sometimes being raped as evidence that rape is not really about a desire for sex. However, that only proves that some non-zero percentage of rape isn't really about a desire for sex. It doesn't say anything about the general distribution of motivations.

    I don't think anyone would argue that some people surely rape out of a desire to do violence or dominate someone, but it seems reasonable to me that many rapists probably also simply have a desire for sex and don't mind using violence or hurting people to get what they want (be it sex, money, drugs, other people's property, or whatever). For that class of criminal, violence is merely a convenient means to their desired end, rather than an end unto itself.

    I'm mainly curious to hear any actual evidence for the "rape isn't about sex" claim that gets repeated so often. Have any sort of actual scientific studies been done? Or is it just one of those truisms that people mindlessly repeat back and forth to each other.
     
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  3. ejderha Exhausted Registered Senior Member

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    I guess this would be more common in relatively free societies.

    Agreed. This is a problem in my country.

    I have no idea. Honestly, even the act itself is related, I have difficulty to relate it myself.
     
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  5. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3210146

    On the other hand:
    http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/abstract/134/11/1239
     
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  7. ejderha Exhausted Registered Senior Member

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    Thanks for the links.
    I have been looking for a research I read in the paper. But couldn't find it. Never mind.
     
  8. nietzschefan Thread Killer Valued Senior Member

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    Not sure why "experts" always insist it's all about power. If it was, they'd just beat the shit out of the person for a while...

    Certainly that's part of it, but it's gotta be about getting off while you beat the shit out of someone. You can't get off unless the victim at least turns you on a little bit right?
     
  9. madanthonywayne Morning in America Staff Member

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    I think this "most rape is about power" stuff is an urban myth based upon nothing but someone's speculation. Perhaps the thinking is that, while most men want to have sex with almost every woman of childbearing age they meet, the desire for power or a hatred of women is what pushes those few men who act on that desire to do so.
     
  10. francois Schwat? Registered Senior Member

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    Agreed. The rape power myth is only reactionary unthinking liberal propaganda.
     
  11. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Sorry I missed that one. Did you ask why?
    You haven't done your homework. Most women and most men would rather be beaten up than be forced to have sex with a man. The psychological damage is much deeper, longer lasting, and harder to heal.

    Just ask yourself what you would say if some tough punk gave you that choice.
    Some men "get off" on the expression of power. Check the statistics if you can find them, but I'm confident you'll discover that ordinary-looking people and even ugly people are raped as often as attractive people.
     
  12. Repo Man Valued Senior Member

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    It came from Susan Brownmiller's book Against Our Will. Her premise is:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susan_Brownmiller
    It has been dogmatically asserted ever since. But many other animals commit rape. Low ranking male Elephant seals will sneak into the harems of dominant males and commit rape.

    See, Is rape an adaptation? and rape and evolutionary psychology.
     
  13. WillNever Valued Senior Member

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    I'm confused. In what way is "rape is about power" a liberal ideology..? Exactly what is "liberal" about that idea?

    If anyone is in doubt, there are TONS of testimonial on the internet from so called "rape brotherhood" sites where a bunch of rapists and rapist wannabes get together and share freaky fantasies about raping very specific people -- people they often know. In almost all of these fantasies, the female victim is desperate, afraid, and suffering. Clearly, these rapists are getting off on the anguish they cause, whether that anguish be real or imagined.

    Now I think we can safely say that craving a power differential is a definite aspect of sexual sadism, which is a notoriously male trait. After all, that is what these freakazoids are dreaming of... and that is what they are exercising when they actually go out and rape somebody. In that case, rape is definitely about power.

    I imagine that the number of people who rape for merely for convenience and do it "for sex only" are in the minority, because that behavior suggests that these are rational acting people. Rational acting people would not rape just for sex, however, because the benefits are outweighted by the consequences.
     
  14. Doreen Valued Senior Member

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    This implies that the act is the same.

    That the one's who want sex want what the guy's who are full of rage get.

    But they don't.

    I don't imagine the woman terrified and either struggling to get away or screaming or frozen in her terror.

    Rapists often repeat. They repeat an experience because it is attractive to them, it satisfies a need. A need I do not have.
     
  15. Doreen Valued Senior Member

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    I don't think it is only about power, though I think in some instances it may be. IOW for some rapists forced sex may be the best way for them to get what they are looking for which is not sex, it is how the woman reacts.
     
  16. Doreen Valued Senior Member

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    Other animals committing rape does not counter the idea that it is a power issue. Animals have all sorts of power issues and definitely use forced sex as part of power dynamics. Anyone with a dog can tell you this. I can hump you and you can't hump me. I see female dogs mount other dogs to let them know who is boss.
     
  17. Doreen Valued Senior Member

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    Ask the prisoners in higher security prisons if your theory is correct. Then ask them if they think rape has to do with power.
     
  18. francois Schwat? Registered Senior Member

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  19. Doreen Valued Senior Member

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    1) in prisons rape is often about power which is something you did not respond to and you can find out if you ask prisoners. It can also be about sex, at the same time. This is true regardless of what ducks rape for.
    2) they put 'raping' in quotes in the article. I really don't know if what the male ducks are doing is the same as what men are doing when they rape. I do know that rape is used in power relations in some animals.

    Please avoid the ad hominim tack you took in this last post. This is also a domination act.
     
  20. madanthonywayne Morning in America Staff Member

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    Are you a member of the rape brotherhood? Because I've never heard of it. I'd say the cliche on most porn websites is that the victim isn't suffering and ends up liking it Either way, we're talking about fantasies. So I'm not sure what you're example proves, but it does make me wonder about what kind of websites you frequent....
     
  21. WillNever Valued Senior Member

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    If females are developing a trait that thwarts rape and it is proliferating, that suggests that rape is bad for their group survival, not good. Citing it as a natural occurence doesn't change that.

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  22. WillNever Valued Senior Member

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    Nay, but on a forum similar to this we exposed a member who DID visit such sites by googling his username and finding various sites he had lurked at. Our suspicions were spurred by his continual harassment of women on our board, and the sites we had discovered him on catered to men who fantasized about raping women. Some of the sites contained gay rape fantasies as well. Freud would have had a field day on there, as those sites and the power fantasies that people share on them are very real.

    When you repressively deny something from someone ... or at least, when they perceive that it is being denied from them... and if they become enormously frustrated by that sense of being denied (easy to become frustrated, when you are dealing with the so-called "sexual needs" of many men)... and if they begin to blame women for that frustration... and if they then decide to assert themselves and "show her who's boss..."

    Can you see where this is headed..? Sexual repression = sexual frustration = misogynistic anger = dominance and control issues = neurotic "vengeance" fantasies = rape.

    So of course it's about power. I can't imagine anyone arguing against that. In any case, and with any excuse, rape is for pathetic losers.

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  23. madanthonywayne Morning in America Staff Member

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    Read your own words. The root cause is the rapist's urge for sexual gratification.
     

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